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A Quick Guide to Planning your Wedding Abroad

For some people the ideal mental image of the happiest day of their life involves a flowing white dress, an English country village and a traditional church filled with family and friends. For others it involves golden sands, palm trees and guests in bikinis. If you find yourself leaning more towards the latter fantasy wedding, then perhaps a wedding abroad is for you.

Newlyweds at sunset

So why choose a wedding abroad over a traditional wedding in the UK? There are a multitude of reasons – including weather, novelty and most surprisingly, cost.

Many a British wedding has been rained out to the utter dismay of the (slightly less) happy couple, so the attraction of hosting a wedding in a tropical paradise – where blazing sunshine and temperate climate are almost guaranteed – is easy to see. Obviously it is important to avoid the rainy seasons, but in general the weather for your big day will be assured compared to the unpredictable UK weather.

The novelty factor of having your wedding abroad cannot be underestimated. Whilst your friends will look back in years to come at the same ‘cookie-cutter’ wedding photos that are indistinguishable from every other wedding – you will be able to look back at photos of you enjoying the happiest day of your life on an exotic beach, the top of Niagara falls or wherever else your imagination can conjure up.

Your unique wedding abroad will also never be forgotten by your guests – but if you are planning a wedding abroad make sure to send your invitations out considerably earlier than you would for a wedding closer to home, to allow your guests to make travel arrangements.

Surprisingly the difference in cost between a wedding abroad and a wedding in the UK can often not be as extreme as you might think and this can be for a number of reasons. The average spend on a wedding in the UK is usually between £20,000 and £30,000. If you are planning to hold your wedding on an island in the Caribbean, where the local currency is generally dollars, when you take into account the exchange rate you can certainly get a lot more bang for your buck. As you will be spending a considerable sum on the arrangement of the wedding, it is also worth looking into international money transfer as a secure way of paying for the venue.

Finally it pays not to forget that the marriage ceremony is a legal procedure as well as celebration of your union, so be sure to research the relevant legal considerations of the country you are planning to be married in, as this can vary from country to country.

5 ways you can change your approach to debt

The word ‘debt’ has all sorts of connotations in contemporary America. In previous decades, debt was viewed as a wholly negative idea and some of this legacy unfortunately still remains.

Yet debt can be a way of negotiating life and if handled in the right way, can actually have many positive aspects. It can allow you experiences that may otherwise be unavailable to you.

There are different types of debt and many ways to deal with it in a responsible way, such as regular repayment to creditors and taking advantage of balance transfers when applicable.

Here are five key ways of changing your approach to debt that will help you understand debt and feel more empowered in decision making around money, loans, balance transfers and debt in general.

1. Appreciate the difference between positive and negative debt. Positive debt tends to be associated with long-term goals or commitments that will enhance your life or provide security.

Negative debt, on the other hand, tends to be associated with items for short-term pleasure and instant gratification that will affect your life for just a short period.

2. Realize that almost everyone in the United States has some level of debt and so you are in good company. Unless you are from a wealthy background, you will need to borrow money at some point in your life.

You may be surprised at some of the people you know who also have debts. Remember, even daily living can be expensive and most people need a helping hand with finance.

3. Two of the main reasons for borrowing money include paying for a house and for your education. These are long-term investments that will add value to your life, so the debt is a positive one.

Think about the purpose of the money you are borrowing. Having a College degree is almost essential when it comes to getting a well-paid job, so incurring debt for this reason is very different to simply using it for frivolous purposes.

4. Research different finance options when purchasing a car. Choose a reliable, but not necessarily top-of-the-range, model so that you can manage repayments without any problems.

Keep organized records of your finances and repay each statement on time. If you use credit cards, take advantage of lower or 0% interest rates on balance transfers.

5. Remember that actually having debt can work in your favor when applying for a mortgage or other type of financial product. Managing debt can show you are a reliable consumer and this will make it easier for you to get credit.

Most people are surprised that they can be turned down for credit on the basis that they have never borrowed money. Being able to show a record of responsible borrowing can give you access to better financial products.

Changing your approach to debt can allow you to access opportunities that otherwise will pass you by. An education or a home is hard to fund without financial help.

Stick to the golden rule of borrowing for long-term benefits rather than simply to pay for the latest trendy gadgets. Make regular repayments, keep records and allow positive debt to help you achieve your goals.